DEVIN THE DUDE
Album review: "Suite 420"
Devin the Dude is a man of simple pleasures. He enjoys marijuana. He enjoys sex. He enjoys . . . um, did we mention the marijuana and the sex? More than a decade into his career the Houston rapper is still drawling the praises of the green stuff and ladies, and still manages to be plenty entertaining while doing so.
Given the subject matter, it should come as no surprise that his new album, "Suite 420," (no subtlety in the title) isn't filled with hard-hitting club bangers. The beats rarely make it past the mid-tempo range, casually thumping along, rarely getting too complex. These are songs for a comfortable couch, not a club. The musical identity comes from the array of synthesizers that produce the gently buzzing and bleeping sounds that create an appropriately hazy atmosphere.
Better they simmer in the background anyway, because fans will want to catch the one-liners Devin continues to reliably roll out. "I never get nervous/Unless I'm wondering where the herb is/I don't sell but I purchase," he offers on "Still Comin." He's a proud pothead, but that's all: "All you need is weed and nothing else/Sit back and roll one and enjoy yourself/All them other narcotics [mess] up your health," comes later on the album, and although it may not be the most sound advice, it's a mantra that has served Devin just fine.
-- David Malitz, May 2010